Start, Korea International Circuit, 2013

South Korea eyes F1 return with night street race

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Start, Korea International Circuit, 2013In the round-up: South Korea is aiming to return to the Formula One calendar in 2016.


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S Korea eyes night street race for 2016 (Today)

“South Korea is making another attempt at the Formula One world championship and this time promoters want to emulate Singapore’s success by staging a night street race in 2016 in the centre of Seoul, the country’s capital.”

McLaren questions Red Bull radio use (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “It was a strange message. Once would have been OK, but twice or three times is a bit strange.”

Fernando Alonso: “I gave back one position because I thought that was more or less fair…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“I gave back one position because I thought that was more or less fair. I was waiting for instructions from the team, on lap two they told me that race direction was OK with only one position, and we kept pushing all the race through.”

Jenson Button ‘happy’ he will remain at McLaren next season (The Guardian)

“I’m not worried in any way about that. I’m pretty happy I’ll be here next year, and I feel I’m doing a good job right now.”

McLaren ‘more or less’ decided (Sky)

“When asked if we could expect the announcement at the forthcoming grand prix, Boullier’s response was blunt: ‘Absolutely not, there are no plans to announce anything yet.'”

Red Bull still avoiding team orders (ESPN)

Christian Horner: “Both have mathematically got a chance. It’s a long shot and it’s down to them racing each other on the track. It would be wrong to interfere with that in the situation we’re in and let them race as we saw.”

Hamilton: now I have father I always wanted (The Telegraph)

“I remember when I spoke to you [journalists] a few years ago when I parted with my dad as manager. I said to you I can’t wait for the day that he’s here just as my dad, and that’s what you’re seeing.”

Tata Communications achieves first live F1 4K feed over fibre (F1)

“Demonstrated to an exclusive group of broadcasters, the live delivery highlighted the next generation 4K broadcast capabilities afforded by fibre-optic cable, as well as illustrating how the future of 4K sports broadcasting could look.”

Radio Gaga is back plus four other things we learned (The Telegraph)

David Coulthard powerfully explained to me on Friday why the clampdown was pointless, because information will be communicated to drivers in other ways. The 13-time race winner said that the move was more about perception than anything else.”


Comment of the day

@Atticus-2 believes Alonso should have followed Hamilton’s strategy when the Safety Car came out:

He’d have had clear track ahead of him, and on the super-softs – based on the early stints – he could’ve more or less been able to keep Lewis’ pace. Even if, say, he’d have got 10s less in the bag, he’d come out behind Massa and no straight-line speed difference would’ve kept the Williams in front, not to mention the Red Bulls.

This was clearly the better strategy option as underlined by the excellent pace and progress of others, who chose it – Vergne and Perez. (Magnussen and Kvyat did so as well, but they had issues, so their pace was not representative.)

This all sounds like a ‘Monday morning quarterback’, but considering even I realized the softs are not much more durable than the super-softs (Pirelli indicated that on Friday), surely they should have known it as well.

Even if not, it still bugs me that even in retrospect, Alonso and company say that they think their strategy was good when it clearly wasn’t.

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  • 73 comments on “South Korea eyes F1 return with night street race”

    1. Because another Seoulless street race is all we need.

      1. This one will have tons of Seoul.

      2. @calum that’s gold, mate!

      3. Yes, but Korea should have the potential of making a booming GP. I like the old/new track but it was clearly not a viable project.
        DC is always on the money when it comes down to what’s inside a top team and F1 in general. The clampdown was as I’ve said to keep it under the radar all the mundane aspects of being an F1 driver, it’s a matter of image.

      4. I’m Seoulled.

      5. Copy cat.

        So they built a brand new track in the middle of nowhere promising they would develop a small town around it to make it look like a street race and now they decide staging the race in Seoul is the way to go? Nuts!

      6. I can’t help but think that this is what they should have done in the first place…. between Shanghai, Seoul and Japan, F1 will be in 3 of the region’s biggest cities.

        1. @fastiesty Japan is a city? :p

          1. @beejis60 One huge metropolis, combined with some mountains… Suzuka and Fuji :P

    2. So the Gran Turismo circuit?

      1. Hahaha!! Excellent!!!

    3. He’d have had clear track ahead of him, and on the super-softs – based on the early stints – he could’ve more or less been able to keep Lewis’ pace

      If Alonso was able to keep Lewis’s pace then how on earth he would have had a clear track ahead of him.
      Hamilton with a fresher tyre than Alonso, with an excellent fuel consumption rate (Alonso was critical on fuel before the SC) and more important with a faster car than anybody came behind the SV after his final stop.
      Ferrari reacted to Red Bull strategy and tried something desperate à la Hungaroring to limit the damage caused by the SC.

    4. I fear Alonso’s reputation may be tarnished if he leaves Ferrari. They’ve moulded the car driving style to him, he has the comfiest of comfy chairs right now. If he leaves, he’ll be in someone elses chair. The height of the seat will be all wrong, the back wont be high enough to rest your head on and the buttock indentations on the cushion will be in the wrong place… gahh!

      1. Built for comfort, not for speed !?

      2. How so? The fact that he has stuck around this long hasnt he? Nobody can fault the effort he’s put in over the last 5 years, his determination has been relentless. Everybody has their limits, if he leave, its perfectly understandable.

        I dont buy Boullier’s retort. Its a typical F1 style response, where he’s basically given nothing away. The classic “more or less” and “not yet” essentially means there is everything to play for, its all smoke and mirrors. As we know in F1, nothing is certain until pen is put to paper, even then things might not be so straightforward. I wont at all surprised if Ron makes an announcement next weekend at Suzuka.

        With all due respect to Jenson, if I was Honda, I would probably want a bigger name to spearhead the campaign.

        1. maybe they want an experienced driver with a good relation with the senior management, to build smoothly a massive weapon, as Mercedes did with schumy, and then taking a heavyweight as Lewis to really fight for the championship

          1. good post @matiascasali. i think JB has done enough to be given at least one year with honda. mclaren should be pretty happy with that as it dovetails to their getting alonso (or other big name) for 2016 when it becomes apparent that the 2015 ferrari is truly dreadful again.

            the drivers are not the issue for mclaren.

    5. The team who met Ecclestone was led by Chung Yung-cho, who played a key role helping KOVA bring F1 to Yeongnam. But after failing to turn the event around in the first three races, KOVA dismissed him as its chief executive in January last year.

      Soooooo you’re telling me the guy who essentially led the Yeongnam event into the gutter is leading this one, and Bernie has “warmed” up to the idea.

      Why not right, makes sense.

      1. @sward28, Bernie has no scruples about who he takes money from.

        1. @hohum It shouldn’t surprise me anymore

      2. Imagine you are Bernie.

        A guy who has lost hundreds of millions of dollars building a racetrack in the middle of nowhere that can’t draw spectators comes back after you’ve parted ways and says “let’s do it again”. Are you really going to say “no thanks, we have enough of your money”?

        1. Spot on.@kazinho. Here is a man who convinced someone to dump hundreds of millions on a marsh in the middle of nowhere and get Bernie a solid bunch od USD in the process, and now he is willing to repeat it? Exactly what Bernie needs.

          Best case it results in a strong new race in Asia, getting in even more high tech companies to sponsor the sport and pay huge money each year. Worst case is it helps push others to up their efforts to stay on the calendar for 2016. In between, there is a realistic chance for a race or 3 earning Bernie (FOM) unhealthy returns. A no brainer for Bernie

      3. He was kicked out of KAVO after the first year, without him the race would never even have got started. It is the current mob at KAVO who destroyed the race with their inner bureaucracy.

        The people in South Jeolla are completely different from Seoul, they are very difficult and stubborn to deal with even for other Koreans. South Jeolla region was never going to get support from Seoul.

    6. Fernando “more or less fair”, indeed, more fair to him less fair to RIC, but in the end it probably didn’t effect the outcome.

    7. All this radio ban was a farce. The drivers were still crying over the radio and were given all the info on the car and the opponents all the time. Was expecting a bit more. Maybe they didn’t get as much info as previously but not much have changed.

      1. Yes. RBRs messages about brake bias staying and off curbs to protect the battery (really?) showed that exceptions will quickly swallow this rule. The ban on driver assistance by radio is DOA.

        1. @dmw and @toxic, RBR checked with Charlie Whiting before they gave the message and he said it was no problem.

          For this race first there was a ban on both car and driver performance related messeges. Later on it was deemed to fast and only driver performance related messeges were banned.

          The rule in fact is just one very hard to adapt to it seems. These cars and I’m sure 2013 cars aswell are not easy to drive all by yourself. They’ll have to find something in 2015 to help the drivers…

      2. @toxic

        The drivers were still crying over the radio

        Such as when?

    8. Korea? Again? Didn’t they learn their lesson the first time?

    9. I’ve got an idea. What about a street race underground? A series of tunnels under a desert or swamp somewhere. No spectators, just TV cameras. After a while, the circuit will wonder why they can’t pay the bills and tries to find an even more obscure location.

      I really do wonder what the weather is where-ever some of these peoples heads are.

      1. Tunnels? If you’re gonna go that far let’s really test the downforce on these cars and have them drive through a corkscrew every lap where they become completely inverted like a roller coaster. I bet the drivers would enjoy it!

        1. But what about the sc, and the warm up lap @us_peter!

          1. @bosyber isn’t it obvious?! Install one of Bernie’s shortcuts!!

      2. Formula Indonesia (@)
        23rd September 2014, 9:16

        sunrise race would be very challenging, the race starts about 5.30 am. but i expect it will be very tough race

    10. If it sees Abu Dhabi off of the grid (and is a better track) I would be fine with Korea running a night race. That said, I would sooner see France get a Grand Prix again.

      We have Singapore and Malaysia a stone’s throw from each other for year after year, and it wasn’t too long ago that Spain had two races. Earlier in the year, there were murmurings of a second US Grand Prix. All this and yet Bernie refuses to give France a second look. Really? It doesn’t need to be Paul Ricard, but at least give a country with so much history in motorsport a Grand Prix.

      1. It’s all about money nowadays, if I remember correctly, France could not afford the to pay the hosting fees.

        1. more than affording, i think its a matter of principles: you can’t pay an obscene amount of money to Bernie to host a GP with absolutly nothing in return. Months ago, after the WTCC race in Potrero de los Funes, they were saying about an F1 GP wether in the streets of Mar del Plata or in Potrero. Well, as much as a crazy F1 fan that i am, i would be outraged if my government pays that crazy amount of money to Bernie when we have an economical crysis!

        2. There is an additional problem that there is also a political split between the Paul Ricard and Magny Cours circuits, since those circuits lie in departments that vote for the UMP and Socialists respectively. Because of that, the Socialists do not want to provide funding for a race at Paul Ricard, and vice versa, so the event has become sucked into the internal politics of France.

      2. @bforth Does France actually need a look in? Renault, I think, are more likely to pull out, than enter a team again. Red Bull have moved a lot of people in, just to make sure that the engine comes up to scratch.

        France has GB, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Spain – 6 races all right on its doorstep. Germany was ‘half full’.. and Paul Ricard would be an ideal testing venue, if anyone was actually concerned about safety over getting slightly better temperatures to test in.

        Is Spa not on the edge of French speaking territory (Wallonia)? And Monaco an enclave of France? Between those two accessible races, that’s why they probably don’t want to line Bernie’s pockets any longer.

        1. Bernie owns Paul Ricard.

    11. A night race in Seoul? I personally think that unlike Singapore, it’ll be a loss-making venture.

      1. @wsrgo What is your logic for that? Seoul metro area is home to over 25 million people as opposed to under 6 million in Singapore. It has very modern infrastructure despite its 4 millennia of history as opposed to Singapore’s 2 centuries as a trading post. Nothing like a brutal Japanese occupation followed by a massively destructive war to start anew.

        Seoul and the entire country also has free and messy democracy, as opposed to Singapore’s semi-authoritarian government. The problem with Yeongnam is that it was located in a sparsely populated and remote area of the country. Attendance should not be a problem in Seoul.

        Is Singapore making a profit? The question now is will the Korean government accede to Bernie’s asking price. I’d love to see a plan for the city circuit.

        Disclaimer: my daughter is a graduate student in Seoul and I live less than an hour south of the city. I retired to Korea as I feel safer here than in my home country, the US.

      2. Not quite right @wsrgo.
        If you read that article, it shows that actually the Singapore event is loss making too, at least in direct, tangible results (hosting costs S$ 150 and returns from visitors are S$ 100, making for a gap of S$ 50). On the other hand, I do think it helps cement Singapore in its position of global financial and dealmaking hub, which was the primary purpose to stage it.

        For Seoul it could be much the same. Only with focus on high tech industry (all their electroncis, they want to get deals to build nuclear reactors all over the world now, and other high tech stuff)

        1. I read that Singapore is also significantly privately funded, meaning the money is less of a problem.

          1. Yeah, its supposed to be about 60% private funding, would guess the Seoul race could be about the same.

        2. @bascb My logic was that a night race on the streets was a novelty that began with Singapore, having 1 of that in a season is unique, having 2 of that I believe, personally of course, is one too many.

          1. Ah, yes. You do have a point there. Although it would already be the third night race overall so I guess that is slowly becoming more “normal”

    12. 4k? In Australia we’d be happy to get the race in HD – qualifying is in HD but channel 10 insist on putting the race on their SD channel and movie reruns on the HD channel

      1. maybe they don’t have the bandwith :-o

      2. I’m kinda annoyed their livestream won’t work. I want to watch qualifying live, not at 1 in the morning!

      3. If they showed races live on the main channel then it would help getting back the F1 rights after 2015. There is talk that Ten will partner Foxtel for F1. It’s still on FTA and enjoy it while it lasts but with Ten as “Home of Motorsport” they will likely to keep F1
        @bascb – Ten’s Head of Sport, David Barham said that in 5 years time that all 3 channels will be in HD but it can be even less then that with Tony Abbott in power
        @stigsemperfi – it was live on one, so I have no idea what you are talking about unless if you mean the replayed coverage on 10

    13. I did not even think of this at the and do not like orders but surely Rbull have got to do it those 3 points could be really crucial. Vet has no chance whilst who knows what will happen with Abu Double. It’s obvious why they won’t they cant upset the 4xWC.

    14. Give Korea a Formula E race to start with, show the place rammed full of fans, with a well-run event and a good track for racing, and then we’ll see about F1. That’s how it should be done, not another Tumbleweed Grand Prix.

    15. F1 wants to be eco friendly, they should stop energy wasting night races no add them.

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        23rd September 2014, 9:18

        agree, its is a paradox when they want to have go green machinery but add more night races which wastes a lot of energy

      2. I nice point right there mate.

      3. F1 doesn’t want to be eco-friendly. It is just trying to satisfy a huge variety of different wants from across the world which include being green. You won’t see anyone moaning about lighting though so they don’t worry about it.

      4. @f1indofans @nidzovski I don’t think F1 is trying to be eco-friendly with the new engines, more like being a bit futuristic.

        1. Formula Indonesia (@)
          23rd September 2014, 11:16

          futuristic will cause few polutions, but very high price

      5. F1 has been carbon neutral since the late 90’s so any energy used to power lights at night races wil be off-set anyway.

    16. Don’t especially like street races and definitely have no love for the Korea Intermiddleofnowhere Circuit…

      But I think a race in Seoul would be awesome, providing they don’t dump it in an out-of-the-way park away from all the cool stuff.

    17. A tilkedrome in Seoul would still be a bit (maybe just a bit, but still a bit) Seouless, unfortunately.

      1. A tilkedrome in Seoul would still be a bit (maybe just a bit, but still a bit) Seouless, unfortunately.

        Nice one ;-)

        A lot of people hated the Yeongam track, but I think it was not too bad: the second half was quite interesting, in my opinion, with this succession of fast&middle speed corners. Too bad it was built in the middle of nowhere.
        Nevertheless, this track was far more interesting than the “Detroit-in-the-80s-like”* Singapore circuit (90° corners, hairpins, chicanes). I never understood the enthusiasm about Singapore: night doesn’t turn a bad layout in a good one.

        *: or Phoenix 90-91

        1. you can say that again.

    18. Here’s a thought about secret radio messages.

      If for instance the team wants to tell the driver “you’re loosing time to your teammate in turn 8”, why not work this out so that the engineer tells the driver some specific but allowed bit of information EXACTLY WHEN the driver is negotiating the turn in which he’s loosing time?

      How on earth would you catch this as a stewart? And even so, how to prove that this was the intended hint?

      I’m personally in favor of the intention of the rule, it just seems to me as unenforceable as a ban of team orders. I’d love to be proven wrong though.

    19. Alonso: “I gave back one position because I thought that was more or less fair”.
      LOL This guy got to be joking. He reached the turn slightly ahead of both RBR because he missed the braking point, is evident on the video the blocked tires, but he kept the momentum out of the track. He clearly gained advantage with the maneuver.
      “More or less fair”. What a joke.

      1. I thought Alonso should have had to give both places back, but as race control said it was fine for him to only give one away he did nothing wrong.

    20. We don’t need it.

    21. Mehul Kapadia continues, “Consumer demand for high quality and live content across different platforms is now the norm and with the emergence of bandwidth hungry production workflows, especially that of 4K broadcasting, quick turnaround and availability of content across multiple platforms are hygiene factors for content owners. Having the world’s only wholly-owned global fibre-optic ring of super-fast cables means that we are able to fully exploit the potential of new technologies such as 4K, from any location across the globe; and give broadcasters and content owners the ability to reach an ever more demanding audience with ever higher quality content.”

      I really hope Formula 1 listens to Tata, they obviously see a demand for F1 on platforms other than cable television, and clearly have the resources to provide it.

      Hygiene factors” seems to be lost in translation however :P

    22. A night race at Guia circuit would be monster!

    23. A late late thank you for the COTD, @keithcollantine.

      Sorry, I was off on a late summer holiday just after the race. Getting back into the groove around now.

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